We’re honoured to share our team’s stories with you through the kubik Storyteller Series! Join us as we sit down with the people who make experiences memorable, get to know them a little better, and hear their stories as they told them to us. Then, stay tuned for more employee spotlights on other members of our team! This week, we interviewed Fabia Colombo, from the kubik Amsterdam team. Keep reading to learn more about Fabia, her roles, and the Amsterdam team.
Fabia is a project manager working with the Amsterdam team since August 2022. Her Italian background brings a unique perspective to the team, and her experience in the interior design industry is an invaluable asset in her position as a project manager. Here’s what Fabia had to say about her experience with the kubik Amsterdam team and what her role entails:
What is your role at kubik Amsterdam?
Fabia: This position involves project management but also design as well. I studied interior design, and the team was looking for someone who could do both. Some days, it’s more about designing. So, looking at the floor plans, layouts, colour, and styling. On some other days, I’m working more on the project management side. So budget, of course, and ordering material from suppliers. It’s really good because before I had been working in design studios and it was just me and the computer and all these drawings. But now I have the chance to also travel, and it’s really nice to see the project from the beginning to the end.
How long have you been at kubik?
Fabia: I’m fairly new, I just started here in Amsterdam in August 2022.
Do you enjoy being in the office?
Fabia: Ya, I really like it. It’s the first time I am facing the project management side of things, so its really useful to be here because all my colleagues have a lot of experience. So, I can just go to their desk and ask them any questions. Yeah, and it’s a nice team here in Amsterdam, everyone is really nice. I really enjoy coming in every day, even if I’m biking in the rain. From the first day that I moved here, I decided to be like a real Dutch, so I’m biking every day. I was living in Milano before I was working here and my hometown where I was born is next to Milan.
What educational and professional experience did you have prior to joining kubik?
Fabia: I moved to Milano for university, where I studied Interior Design and got my bachelor’s at IED, which is the European Institute of Design. Then I also did my English Masters in Milano at NABA (Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti, “New Academy of Fine Arts”). I then did my thesis in Madrid, but then Covid came, and I couldn’t leave Italy, so I started working in Milano. I first got a job in a design studio in the city center, which was focused around residential projects, so apartments and that kind of thing. I then moved to Moncler, a fashion company and joined their architectural team, and we were designing all the retail flagships for shopping centers. My last job before kubik was at Marcel Wanders, a design studio in Amsterdam in the city center, where I worked on a lot of graphic and interior design projects. So, I moved here, to Amsterdam, for that reason. It’s really nice now because I have some expertise in retail and the residential environment, where it’s more about the materials that you can use and the finishings. So, it’s good to bring that experience to the trade show sector and try to make something new, something special.
What led you to join the kubik team?
Fabia: When that studio closed, I wasn’t ready to go back to Italy, so I started looking for a new position and I found kubik. I was really lucky to find this position here at kubik and take on a role at a place that I thought was really interesting. I enjoy working with different people on different projects but of course, the position was quite different from my background because the job description was more about budgets and cost management once they explained the role to me during the interview process and how they were looking for someone more coming from the design side of things, I was interested in learning more about the project management aspect. So, it’s really good. I’m always learning something new.
What kind of projects do you work on?
Fabia: Right now, we’ve been doing some designs for Ergotron, and then I’ve been also designing booths for a company called Wesco, which is an American company, and they just had their first show in Barcelona. So, Elina, my colleague, who is an account manager, and I have been working with the clients there in Barcelona. We work on a lot of trade show exhibits and pop-ups, and we also have some more conceptual pitch projects.
How has your career grown since starting at kubik?
Fabia: It’s a great opportunity for me because it really makes me understand how the process works because, of course, I was always focused on the design, but I didn’t know about the costs or about sustainability and now I’m always trying to find more sustainable solutions. So, I’m really happy right now because I see how my choices can really affect the results. I’m also meeting some suppliers, so it’s always good to be in good relationships with them and see which new products they have and what they can offer. So, yes, I feel like I’m growing more in this role.
What does an average day look like for you?
Fabia: When I come into the office, I usually check my emails to see which projects, deadlines, and meeting we have, and then I usually try to focus more on design drawings if I have time in the morning because I really need to be focused on the dimensions and things. And then we usually have lunch together with our colleagues.
I think we have a good balance and working lifestyle. So, after work, I usually go to the gym or meet some friends and you still have time to enjoy some time in the city. Some days, of course, they are busier, so maybe you have to push a little bit more, but the environment here is really nice.
What background or experience do you bring to kubik?
Fabia: Studying in Milano gives you the possibility to learn a lot from the masters of Italian design and develop your own taste. As an interior designer, I always try to balance functionality and aesthetics.
What do you enjoy about working at kubik or what is your favorite thing about the team?
Fabia: The team and everyone here are really friendly, everyone gets along, even if we are of different ages. It’s nice to work on different projects. So, every week, I have like three or four projects going on, and it’s very fast, but you just keep going, and then you can also see the final results, so that’s also good. It’s always something different, so I think that’s the best part.
What has been your favorite project to work on while at kubik? Or which project has had the greatest impact on you?
Fabia: The one that I mentioned before in Barcelona was the first project for me where I really started with the design part and then moved to the project management part. So, I really had the chance to have an overview of the project and I was making the drawings and then, you know, working with the suppliers and then finally, I was in Barcelona. So, the client was really happy with the project.
What inspires you to be creative in what you do?
Fabia: I think, in general, I really enjoy visiting exhibitions and museums and here in Amsterdam is perfect because, in the city, there are a lot of events, concerts, cool museums and really cool exhibitions. So, I just enjoy walking around the city and trying to find inspiration from the surroundings. Also, the music environment is really important here so, different kinds of music, classical music, techno music. And then, of course, I always try to keep up to date with websites and magazines.
What is something fun you like to do in your spare time?
Fabia: Travelling and exploring, walking around the city, taking some time for myself, doing yoga, and going to the gym or going out with friends.
What does the kubik team do for fun as a workplace activity or event?
Fabia: We have kind of team building events during Christmas and we also organize kubik days in September. We also have an office in Poland, so if colleagues are working from Poland, they will sometimes come to Amsterdam so we can gather together. Usually, maybe on Friday after work, we just go out and drink something together. We’re trying to organize this kind of event every now and then. If it’s someone’s birthday, we just celebrate and try to decorate the desk and have some cake together.
What is one of your biggest accomplishments at kubik individually or as a team?
Fabia: Sharing experience and different knowledge, it’s great to be part of an international team.
Thanks to Fabia for sharing her story and taking the time to let us learn more about them. We appreciate everything they bring to the kubik team, and we can’t wait to see what they will do next. If you’re looking to join the kubik team, visit our Careers page for opportunities or visit our website to see some of the amazing project stories our team has helped bring to life.